Ahmeek MineCopper CountryMohawk

Little Powder House Along the Road

A Look at an Ahmeek Mine Powder House

Off the main highway just outside of Mohawk can be found a narrow dirt road heading out in the neighboring woods. It’s a road not unlike any other to be found all across the Keweenaw with nothing to indicate it has any particular destination or treasure awaiting those who elect to take it. Yet like most such roads in the Keweenaw its very existence suggests that there is indeed something to be found along its lengnth – or at least there was something to be found at some point. For this particular little road that something has survived to this day, though it’s hardly what one would expect when first embarking down the road’s dusty path. That something is a squat little brick building sitting alone in a small clearing at the road’s terminus. A pair of heavy iron doors – one on either end – coupled with a fairy-tale like curved roof betrays its identity as an old powder house. The term “powder” refers to black powder, and at one time buildings such as these stored just that. Later that primitive explosive would be replaced with more modern equivalents such as dynamite but the nomenclature remained none-the-less. Each of these powder house’s owed allegiance to just one mine and in this case the mine in question was the Ahmeek. More specifically this particular structure stored explosives for use in the Ahmeek No.3/4 shaft which lay just down the road a short distance southward. That distance was to insure any accident here would not translate into costly damage of production interruptions elsewhere. Luckily – as indicated by the building’s very existence – such issues never came to pass and the mine remained unaffected.

The Ahmeek Powder House sits at the end of a short dirt road just west of the village of Mohawk.


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